CALOOCAN CITY, Nov. 21 (PIA) -- The Philippine government has lifted the requirement for airlines to convert a section of the aircraft cabin into an isolation area for passengers or crew who display symptoms of COVID-19, Malacanang said on Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said the decision to remove the required isolation area in the aircraft cabin was made during the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
"The IATF removed the requirement for air carriers to reserve a portion of the aircraft cabin as an isolation area for suspected / ill passengers on board as part of the Covid-19 health protocols for domestic flights," Roque said.
"The IATF decision is based on the grounds that guidelines were issued based on available information at the time, and that more information is now available on how COVID-19 is transmitted in closed settings," he added.
"Also, there are now more improved health protocols from boarding to landing to use of High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. It was also pointed out that domestic flights are of short duration only generally not exceeding 1.5 hours," he furthered.
Per the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), the removal of this requirement will not contravene World Health Organization and International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines and protocols.
The IATF approved the removal of such requirement upon the recommendation of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and CAAP with the concurrence of the Department of Health. The DOTr is to issue the necessary amendatory guidelines. (PIA NCR)